written by: Megan Skuster
Stefini Young is philosophical about her job driving for Lyft: “We’re all human, and I think rideshare allows you to be a lot more personal with your passengers.”
It’s a good approach to a job that involves driving all sorts of people to all sorts of destinations, often during and after a night on the town. Fortunately, the dreaded vomiting passengers are a rarity in the Lyft world (the company and customer share responsibility for the cost of cleaning up.) But encounters usually are more interesting than ickly. Some Lyft drivers offered their more memorable experiences.
The Chill Celebrity:
“I listen to the Chill Station on SiriusXM Radio and I actually met a guy who is one of the DJ’s. It was really crazy because his song came on when I was driving him and he goes, ‘That’s me!’ It was really cool. I always feel like each opportunity to drive someone is going to be a new adventure. You get ten or twenty minutes to talk to someone and you can learn a lot about people.”
The Backseat Breakup:
“It was Valentine’s Day. They broke up in my car before we got to the location. I picked them up in Sugarhouse to take them to Texas de Brazil and we’re around 700 East and she just breaks up with him in the car. I’m like, ‘This is not happening!’ When we got to the destination, it was quiet for like five minutes, except for his sobbing.”
The Rowdy Riders:
“Large groups are always more memorable. I picked up four people going to a concert and they were all really intoxicated. The dude who was sitting behind me, whose name was also Ryan, starts reaching over the seat and massaging me. That was weird. They were really rambunctious and they started bouncing and moving the car while we were at a stoplight. But they tipped well, so all’s well that ends well.”
The Grateful Grocery Shopper:
“I picked up a woman to take to the grocery store and she was just so happy that we had the service available because it allowed her to run to her errands, it was affordable and she didn’t have to lug groceries around on public transit. And that made me happy because she was super happy. That’s what a lot of people don’t really realize—Lyft isn’t just for people that don’t want to drink and drive. It makes everyday things more accessible to people who don’t have a car or transportation.”
Started the summer of 2012, San Francisco-based Lyft is valued at $5.5 billion.
The ride-share service turned its system into a political tool this year to oppose President Trump’s policy on refugees and immigrants, who often find their first jobs as Lyft drivers. The company has pledged to donate $1 million to the American Civil Liberties Union by 2021.
See more inside the 2017 May/June Issue.See more inside the 2017 May/June Issue.